Photo: joerodz via Flickr
Concentrations of the radioactive isotope iodine 131 have been detected in the air across Europe over the past few weeks. Discovery News reports that French authorities announced yesterday that the isotope was present in the air in Northern and Eastern France. Though the levels of the radioactive substance was not thought to be harmful, there remained some mystery as to why iodine 131 was present, particularly because it had also been found in Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Germany, Sweden and Austria.
However, an answer may have emerged this morning.
Reuters reports that Hungary’s nuclear authority has told the International Atomic Energy Agency that a Budapest-based institute released the isotope in recent weeks. The cause of this leak is being investigated, but it is still disputed as to whether this was the sole cause.
It was reported that the institute’s director contests his organisation could be entirely responsible for the levels of radioactive iodine across Europe. He told Reuters:
“The amounts of iodine-131 measured in neighbouring countries cannot have much to do with this, because the distances involved rule out that the amount we emit could be registered over there.”
Hungarian authorities, however, are not ruling out that the leak may have stemmed entirely from this institute.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.